Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Throwback and Belated Birthday Wishes (Letter H)

Had he lived, Jimi Hendrix would have turned 75 on Monday.  They say genius never dies and his skills are incomparable matter what new music trend or artist tries to take a bite.  One has to wonder what would've become of him had he survived that fateful night.  Touring with the Stones?  A collabo with Prince (no doubt they're somewhere jamming).  Anyway, the only way to celebrate this unique life is to share his gifts with those who may have missed out.  Here's one of my favorites.

Last month, we lost Keith Wilder of Heatwave, who is best known for singing lead on their popular wedding song "Always and Forever".  Him and brother Johnny (who died back in 2006), not only shared lead but wrote many hits with bandmate Rod Temperton.  While some may associate them with the disco era, other songs had an R&B flavor to them.  Check it out.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wayback Wednesday Letter G

If you can ever get your hands on this album here, consider yourself one lucky sonofagun.

The reason why I say this is because this the album, alone, that would make her the Queen of Soul.  I never bought that "Empress" title and realize that another notable may not be in the best of health as I type.  That understood, I will never change my mind on how awesome this album is...the vocals, arrangements, everything.  So while there are many tracks to fall in love with (and I'm not a fan, btw), I'm going with the title track though I don't know where this performance took place.

My other choice is also not 100% personal.  Though I love Sly and the Family Stone, my knowledge of Larry Graham was limited until he opened for Prince back in 1997.  Let's just say I couldn't wait for the main attraction.  People ask me to this day if he sang his 1980 hit 'One in a Million' and I say no, it was like a Sly Stone concert with no Sly and a loud guitar.

However, there was this one song I couldn't get out of my head growing up.  Never knew who sang it and it was one of the few my mom hated (because she pretty much had a record store...we lived down the street from a VIP Records, btw).  So anyway, decades pass and one of the few times Soul Train was in reruns, I discovered some new ish (because hip-hop was dying, rock-rap wasn't far behind and neo-soul was starting to sound alike).  Anyway, I have a new respect for this man and hope they do an Unsung episode for his musical contributions.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Final Throwback Thurs. E-F (as in Funk)

Ever since file sharing, indie stations, and other mediums for new and undiscovered jams have become the norm, I realized there have got to be damn near 100 covers of "Light My Fire".  From the Doors to Stevie Wonder. My favorite is by the late Erma Franklin, sister to Aretha and a soul singer in her own right.  This gem was released in 1969 and you Gen-X's may remember this as a sample in the early 90s hit "Untouchables" by Above the Law.
I don't know about you but I'm ready for funk to come back. I know some of the newer artists can be funky or may take elements of funk and mix it with rap, rock, or smooth R&B. The closest I've heard to a nasty bassline is Thundercat but then again, his music is more of a gumbo thing that mixes in some of everything with a spacey vibe. Well, it was a hard choice but fortunately Mr. George Clinton had the forethought to create two groups (and collect two paychecks) so we can hear from Parliament later.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

WayBack Wednesday Holiday Jam Letter E

I think EWF owns this one but I probably roll this into tomorrow.  Anyway, during one of my insomnia attacks, I discovered these Christmas songs in my music feed.  Not the worst and it sounds like one of the original lineups.  Can you believe people talk about Christmas just minutes after (and sometimes before) Halloween has ended?
 This other jam was not one of their bigger hits but whoever made this vid deserves major props. They dug up a serious montage of old and recent photos. I forgot there were a couple of women in the lineup
 at one time.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Final Throwback - Letter D

There's too much good stuff from which to choose right here, so I decided to go with a compilation.  If you haven't seen their Unsung episode, I recommend it highly.  A portion of their humble beginnings was also featured in the highly-praised 2017 movie Detroit.  Here is an interview that aired before the passing of founder Ron Banks.

Secondly, this track by the incomparable David Ruffin is pretty damn funky.  Most people (Gen-X and younger) remember Mr. Ruffin from the Temptations biopic but I remember seeing him perform this song on a Soul Train rerun a few years ago.  It's pretty memorable.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wayback Weds - Letter C

 Yeah, sorry so slow. Decided to go for a second degree and now I'm paying the price.  Still haven't decided the future but I thought I'd throw in some ol school jams while thinking this through.  As for the second video above, I wanted to get a live performance since few people remember what the Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose looked like.  Though only the lead singer slightly resembles someone from the lineup, I can tell this performance is from the 1980s.  So if you know anything about this group, give me a shout out!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Final Thursday Throw - Letter B

Yeah, decided to do it right and combine the two so it should cover up to the letter Z by 12/31.  Math isn't my thing but I'll work it out.  Anyway, here's a couple of names we ain't heard from in a minute.  This jam takes me back to grade school.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Final WayBack Artists Letter A

I'm slowing this situation way down in the coming year. Kind of tired of posting obits and some blaxploitation flicks are so bad that I end up going to sleep midway.  Same applies to modern straight-to-DVD movies (though I had a couple of nice finds recently).  I wouldn't say I'm burnt out but distracted big time.  Plus I have other projects in need of completion.

So, what I'm doing in digging up the rare jams and I may stick in some audio from my personal collection.  Today and tomorrow, for the remainder of the year, I'm going down the alphabetical list.  Some songs you may remember in its original form and other probably sampled to pieces.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to this so stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Goodnight Benson

Veteran actor and star of the 1970s hit comedy series Benson, Robert Guillaume dies at 89.  After co-starring in a number of films, he rose to commercial success playing the butler to a fictional governor Benson DuBois in the popular sitcom Soap.  The video below was one of his last televised interviews where he described why he almost didn't accept the iconic role.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Schoolhouse Rock Writer and Singer Dies At 85

Jazz drummer and singer Grady Tate got his start with Quincy Jones band back in the 1960's.  He later recorded the somber ballad Suicide is Painless for the M*A*S*H* movie.

Shortly afterwards, Tate and the late Ray Charles would be the most recognizable voices behind the funky Saturday morning cartoons for Gen Xers.  Eventually, this would lead the popular jazzman to a second career in education.  Read more about Mr. Tate's life here.

Is Thug Life the New Blaxploitation?

Think about it.  Hot looking females not only strapped but make target every time.  A dope soundtrack. Everyone speaks in urban slang. Violence.  Maybe hard narcotics.  At the film's climax, someone either died or is badly hurt, either physically or emotionally.

Is this a bad thing or worse, unoriginal?  Not necessarily, as one of my favorites, Power, has at least three of the above named factors.  Additionally, the cable drama is more popular with viewers than Fox Network's Empire, especially in the last couple of years.  While I won't use this post to tear down Cookie and 'em, one thing I will state is the emotionally complex scenarios used in Power make it more meaty than most shows that use a similar formula of a brother who used slangin' to come up.

What about when we make TV shows, big-budget movie and now...stage plays where you have the elements but the story line is "simple"?  Maybe even predictable...can it still be as fun as watching Blacula or even New Jack City.  Well, a new play, THUGS and the Women Who Love Them, is getting mixed reactions at best.  Courtesy of Deadline Detroit.

Based on a 2004 fictional series by Wahida Clark, the play was adapted by producer Melvin Childs and has made short stops in major cities in the past few months.  Casting includes mostly C/D-List entertainers like Ray J, Lyfe Jennings, and reality show superstars (meaning they get continuous work to act a fool on TV).  The only notable on here is Jamal Woolard, who played the title role of Biggie Small in 2007's Notorious.

Some people see the original blaxploitation movement as a way to crawl before walking, as only a handful of actors were offered legitimate (nice, articulate character) roles before.  I once had a debate with a former co-worker about why these types of films should never exist.  While my sentiment was that people needed to get work (and I was only about 20 at the time), she came back much harder.  THIS IS HOW PEOPLE FROM OTHER CULTURES SEE US.

My head was spinning because at that time, no one knew who Rodney King was, L.A. had only one riot, and while Pill Bill Cosby was using his popular sitcom to gradually lecture the viewers about what was right about the world of upper-class blackness, I knew my place in the world.   That was a utopia in my mind where everyone got along and no one saw stereotypes - just good and bad people.

Who would think more than 25 years later that hip-hop (no matter how watered down these days) cannot be used in a different format to tell a story of the streets?  They may not get my money but I feel that people have a right to express themselves by telling their truth.  However, I will be happy when there are more Rainbow Johnsons on my TV screen than Cookie Lyon types.

Throwback Thursday...Something Different

Earth, Wind and Fire has been one of my favorites since I was little and I ran across this video a couple of years ago.  If you miss the old lineup, I think you'll like this short even though I Can't Let Go wasn't one of their huge hits. I also want to wish belated birthday wishes to my fellow Libra, former sax player and percussionist Andrew Woolfolk, who was with them into the early 1990s.

I know I've been slacking on this but beginning next week, I'm combining the two (Wayback Wednesday and Throwback Thursday) for the remainder of the year.  It will be an A-Z of old school music acts and I'm looking forward to putting this together.  Truth, its the least I can do since I've slowed down mentally and physically....but I will keep you updated!  CYA

Friday, October 6, 2017

Actor/Comedian Ralphie May Dies

No, he wasn't the typical Hollywood actor discussed on this blog but a unique presence he was. If you love straight-to-DVD movies or the comedy shows from the 90's to present, chances are this dude cracked you up at some point.

 While May had the potential to be a household name, there were some obstacles that prevented this from happening. During one short career slump, May appeared on Celebrity Fit Club, where he appeared to be handling his morbid obesity. My favorite is the mailman from the early-2000s flick, For Da Love of Money starring Pierre (B.A.P.S.)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wayback Wed is Back

This song is not a personal favorite but the video is.  However, I have to point out a small snafu.  The theme is the celebration of Black beauty from a forgotten era but...the Pam Grier still is kind of an oxymoron.  One (in the red outfit) is a publicity shot from the blaxploitation era.  The second is from her small (but important) role in 1972's Hit Man.  I won't give up the spoiler but right here, Ms. Grier was truly foul as a bottom chick/porn actress.  Thank God for Bernie Casey and that lion!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Best of Bernie Casey...RIP

This is only a small fraction of this legend's accomplishments. His meatier roles can't be embedded and I was really hoping that that his 1979 TV drama, Harris and Company would be available in some form. More than two decades before Flex Alexander played a single Black father in a network show, Casey did it first in an hour-long drama. After it was unceremoniously dropped from ABC's lineup, these episodes haven't seen the light of day since.

Thank you for sharing your talents with the world, Mr. Casey.

Black Hooker Movie Review

It's about time huh? This was one of the first "gems" I got to see and On Bounce TV's Sugar streaming service ( did I mention there's a lot to choose from now). Anyway, this is another flick from the blaxploitation film era with dual titles, the alternate being Street Sisters. I don't understand the latter since only one hooker is the focus. This 1974 indie flick is set in a mostly rural town (on yeah, there are no big names attached to this one) where a young lady who grew up on a farm gives birth to a biracial child. Instead of going with someone light skin and wavy hair, they did the Alan Willis (from the Jeffersons TV series) only they used some one who looked more like one of the Beach Boys. The woman's religious parents are forced to raise the bar while she breezed in every so often pushing some vintage whip, dragging on a cigarette. While the boy loves his family, he would rather hang out with Mom father than work on the farm. Since no farm means no place to stay, the young man ventures out into the city. Along with his grandparents, he leaves behind someone special. With a few twists and turns, this isn't a complete waste of 90 minutes. However, if you plan to make this a couch surfing session, I'd recommend something of substance like Five on the Black Hand Side or The Landlord.

Former Leader of Black Heat Dies

Their music has been sampled by Biggie, Mc Lyte and was once featured in an episode of Scandal. However, Black Heat was one of those rare entities in funk that was mostly overlooked by the history books. On September 16, leader King Raymond Green passed away from causes currently unknown. Courtesy of Soul Tracks. Though Black Heat would go on to have a strong following in DC's Go-Go music scene, Green would go on to have a successful career in music on his own terms. After the group broke up in the late 1970's, he would study Audio Engineering at Drexel University, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1981. Green was also a member of The Original Clovers and CEO of his own Powerhouse Productions. His songwriting and audio engineering skills were in great demand with recording legends like Carlos Santana,Harvey Fuqua,and the late Chuck Brown.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

James Brown Documentary Comes to Netflix on 9/1

Check your local listings.  Not a sponsored post but if you saw 2015's Get On Up and want more, this is for you!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Is Netflix Becoming What BET Should Have Been?

I'm not talking about the early days when viewers had a nice mix that included news, international culture, real entertainment, a blaxploitation movie, and a couple of throwback sitcoms (at least not in marathon format).  Those were truly their glory days and I won't dwell on the past since it can't be changed.  Personally, I still can't forgive them for changing the popular sitcom. The Game, for Seasons 4 and 5 and then making it watchable in the last 1-2 seasons. BOO!

However, things seem backwards as one of the top TV writers, Shonda Rimes, shocked many when she decided to terminate her long-relationship with ABC for Netflix earlier this month.  While I'd been a fan of many streaming services, it's just in recent I've realized that we still have the power when it comes to consumer numbers.

Perusing the channel, I see many straight-to-DVD titles, indie flicks and projects by veterans like Marlon Wayans.  Last night I realized that 2016's biographic, I Called Him Morgan is not something anyone can just boost from YouTube.  Either pay one of the big names $3-5 to stream for the next day or so, or cough up a couple more dollars and get set for several budgeted date nights (shout out to you cheap asses, I co-sign 100%).

So between streaming services like Netflix, Hulu (which shows older episodes of my new fav, Power), and Bounce TV's Brown Sugar (BTW. I'm back and they finally got their act together), there's almost no need for cable.  Most reality shows are monotonous and predictable, even when they call themselves being shocking.  The truth is that they are more degrading than anything (though I'm not mad at those who capitalize).

In short, if you want to save some money, fire your cable provider!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

RIP Mr Dick Gregory

Author, comedian, and humanitarian.  Thank you for sharing your gift with the world.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Where's Van Hunt?

I've found that most in my generation, regardless of race or background, who appreciate retro Black films feel the same about music that reflects an era gone by. Van Hunt was considered part of the early 2000s neo-soul movement with underrated hits like "Dust". Some music connoisseurs felt the title was stifling though some,like Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, managed to earn mainstream success to this day.

I still rock Mr Hunt's 2004 self-titled debut CD today. And it's on the strength of those tracks that I believe if Prince were to voluntarily pass the musical torch, Hunt could be a strong contender.

 This article describes some of the challenges the former Dionne Farris (now that's a name we haven't heard in a couple of minutes) protege. This year he released Popular, his first in more than a decade that was originally slated for 2008. Let me know what you think.
To listen on Spotify-
Other streaming music services -

Friday, July 28, 2017

Brown Sugar Update

According to at least one commenter, I give Bounce TV a hard time.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  I mean, the station comes on digital and cable, they edit movie titles that contain the N word and their original programming , from what I've seen, depicts us in a positive (but sometimes dull) light.

However, I must say that they do listen to their critics.  Not long ago, I signed up for the Bounce streaming service and gave what I thought was an honest review.  This was due to the fact that commercials gave little information about the then-new product.

So several corny (and non-informative) TV commercials later, I have to say that the inventory has greatly improved.  They've added hard-to-find joints like The Spook that Sat by the Door and I believe I even saw Pipe Dreams and Mean Johnny Barrows.  I mean, a person can scroll for hours ....if there using the right device.

Now my problem is not the selection but the service itself.  They've fluctuated from a one-month trial to a one-week trial.  Ordering from the website or Google/Amazon.  One time, I had a movie load perfectly and play with no buffering on my smartphone but I couldn't get that on my Chromebook to save my life.  Then there's billing.

According to their customer service, there is no continuous billing protocol.  Without giving away too much information, Google can only do so much in terms of choosing the right card?  In reading through the reviews, I wasn't the only person not getting service beyond the initial billing period  (maybe this is why they stopped airing commercials with Pam Grier and Fred Williamson - as they're two examples of blaxploitation actors that do receive residuals from their work).

But like I said their customer service does come through.  I dealt with a charming (no sarcasm) person named Foxy Yazmin, it took time to find out that the system may still have a bug or two.  At one time, you could access a personal account via the website to see payment methods but going through a 3rd party seems to be more hassle than it's worth.  Yet, I stand true by my promise to return sometime in the future.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Before You Decide to Floss

 Here's a subtle reminder of how the establishment sees us (yes, even today in 2017).  Think about it, how often are we featured in ads about investments and other financial services?  While I'm glad to more of us in ads referring to small business ownership and advanced education, spending wisely is the real key to success IMHO. Don't trust the big name institutions? Try these instead! (Courtesy of Watch the Yard). P.S. Thanks to my cuzzo Shadana for posting this on Facebook last month.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Goodnight Skillet

On  7/4/17, we lost veteran actor Ji Tu Cumbuka to causes not yet determined.  Cumbuka, whose acting credits date back to 1968's Uptight (starring actor/ screenwriter Max Julian), make a remarkable presence on the stage, television, and the silver screen.  Update: It's been reported that he was suffering from a number of ailments, including vascular disease.

While major mediums mention Roots and Harlem Nights as his most notable roles, blaxploitation movie fans remember him as Skillet from 1972's Blacula.  With Cumbuka's stand out, gap-toothed smile, he was THAT dude in the club.  Rest in heaven bro.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Jim Brown Fans Tune into Bounce TV Tonight

If the summer heat is too much to deal with, Brown Sugar Saturday night has you covered with a blaxploitation triple threat.  Starting with Black Gunn (1972), Take a Hard Ride (1975 with Fred Williamson), and I Escaped from Devil's Island (1973).

Jim Brown has a lot in common with my favorite, Bernie Casey, as they always played solid characters on screen and got their start playing professional ball.  Of tonight's trifecta, I recommend Black Gunn.  It's filmed in L.A.'s west side, has an interesting plot, and the leading lady is the late Teresa Graves of Get Christie Love.

Hopefully, you'll enjoy the little bonus I threw in at the top, 1967's Riot. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Legends of Chamberlain Heights is Back!

Sorry for not posting sooner but I had to share. Especially since it's coming on at 11:30 tonight PST on Comedy Central.  If you miss The Boondocks or appreciate the comedy of three teens just hangin', this is so worth checking out.

Now, in case you've never seen this half-hour cartoon, it is kinda like 21st century What's Happening.  Three teens - one overweight, one silly, and the leader, of sorts - with a love for b-ball (there are some LeBron references in most episodes) and girls.  However, there's no neighborhood Big Mama for everyone to love and fear almost equally.

In addition, the sexual and drug references make this better-fitted for Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network.  But in between some of the crass humor are rhetorical jokes that reflect current policy and social situations, as well as some joke targeted to the Gen X crowd.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Morris Day Releases Prince Tribute Song

"Over that Rainbow" is a stark contrast to the uptempo jams Day is known for.  Today is the one year anniversary of Prince's passing and I haven't seen this much love for the man since his career began nearly 40 years ago.

Check out the I Love Old School Music blog to read the interview where Morris Day talks about the last time he saw Prince.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

RIP Cuba Gooding Sr.

A truly underrated musician whose sound will live on for decades to come.  As lead singer of the Main Ingredient, his recognizable tenor made many Top 40 hits in the 1970's.  While nothing has been confirmed by officials, there's speculation that Gooding suffered a fatal overdose while behind the wheel.  Prayers to the Gooding family.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Did You Know Charlie Murphy Wanted to Rap?

Firstly, prayers to go out to the Murphy family and loved ones. Secondly, I wish the world had gotten to know him like they know little bro Eddie.  Here, he talks to VLAD TV about starting his stand-up career in his early 40s, having a career with a famous brother, being misunderstood, and his desire to spit a little something (whoever said he was too old must not have known about Hammer, who was WAY older than 28 when he was crab walking in genie pants)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

One of the Funniest Guest Stars From Sanford and 97!

The early episodes of Sanford and Son were the best...particularly those dealing with affairs of the heart.  When it came Grady's turn, it was just cold-blooded all around.  His fiancee (played by Norma Miller) tried to place brother on lock.  Not gonna give away the entire plot but it's one of the best laughs anyone with a pulse can have.

Anyway, according to sources Ms. Milller is still around and feeling good at 97 years young.  Here's a 2016 article,r where she shares her secrets to a long life.

Courtesy of

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Way Back Wednesday: White Chocolate Tribute

 Most people don't remember when the J. Geils Band made the R&B charts back in the early 80s. Yep, "Flamethrower" was that jam of doing the Cabbage Patch. Yesterday, J. Geils was found in his home (cause unknown as 4/11/17) but if you're scratching your head...

I had to clarify that the media wasn't talking about Peter Wolf, the long-time frontman that's had his share of problems.  Geils , 71, chose to stay in the background as founder and guitarist.

RIP and thanks for the music

Saturday, April 8, 2017

A Music Throwback and a Message

Sorry, if I'm a little MIA, had back-to-back exams and projects to complete.  But I've been lurking on the some of the blogs about what some of these new entertainers REALLY think about Black women.  Now, being from L.A., I think people should date who they please but respect their own as well, whether it be Black, Brown, or whatever.  

Seems the rappers have particularly strong feelings.  While Kendrick Lamar has praise, others go in on women with dark brown skin, natural hair, and features that are far from keen (but if you have an Inflata-Booty you MIGHT be allowed to party with those who don't have half the wealth they floss).

Anywho, I was so into my gym time today that I let my music tracks do their thing and ran across this gem by Meshell Ndegeocello.  A truly underrated sis whose Plantation Lullabies CD (from 94/95?) was truly on point.  Talk about reading sellout brothers for pure filth...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What You May Not Have Known about the Gong Show as a Kid

Those of us who watched the original Gong Show in the evening or after school may remember there was silliness and real talent.  While many, like the Givens Kids, were never heard from again Cheryl Lynn, Paul Reuben/Pee Wee herman, Oingo Boingo and Boxcar Willie are just a few contestants that made it to the big time.  But it seems producer and host, Chuck Barris, who just died from natural causes at 87, had other things on his mind.

Here is Audrey Givens all grown up, followed by a comedy skit.  Courtesy of TV One.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Can Chuck Berry Have His Own Biopic Now?

No disrespect to the Carter's 2008 effort Cadillac Records (which Bey and Jay-Z starred and produced, respectively) but before his recent passing, THE CHUCK BERRY story deserved the spotlight.

The highly-regarded Hail Hail Rock n Roll, was 30 years ago and not entirely dedicated to the guitar legend.  A vehicle that explores the life of a person who is native American and Black, while struggling in an industry that's less than kind to its talent, along with gaining the love and respect from fans, as well as peers, is a story worth telling.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Happy Birthday Sly Stone

Without him, music might not have told us that everyone likes to groove and not all of us are hating on someone because they're different.  Without him, Prince, Lenny, Living Colour, and a whole bunch of other cats may not have a place to express themselves musically.  Here are some rare tracks that I hope you'll enjoy.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Brown Sugar Streaming Review

You've most likely seen the commercials and wondered what's up, as there's not much to be found online. Is is really like Netflix for black folks? Being the blaxploitation movie junkie that I am, I decided to give the free trial a shot.  

Will this rare movie ever make it Bounce TV's new streaming service?
So the sign-up process is pretty cut and dry.  I load this onto my Chromebook mainly because the memory won't have to fight with Adobe CC on my laptop for space.  Plus the device is less than a year old and because it's so finicky about what a person can download, there's room for a streaming service.

At four dollars a month, it's half the price of Hulu (with commercials) but in viewing the inventory, it takes a moment to see if it's worth THAT much.  Brown Sugar has the standards (the Superfly and Shaft trilogies), along with some flicks that are seeing new life like ABAR, the Black Superman and my favorites Willie Dynamite and Hit Man with Bernie Casey.

Upon second glance, I notice a few that aren't familiar but I remember that movies like Black Starlet have alternate titles (Black Gauntlet).  This was the case in one of my favorites that I don't own, Black Sister's Revenge, also titled 'Emma Mae' in the Brown Sugar catalog.  So what is my conclusion?

Basically, if you like to collect (VHS tapes included), this might be a waste of money.  Or, if you have a great relationship (as in you don't mind the interruptions) with YouTube, you can take a chance on movies that may be there one day and gone the following week.  If you're Amazon friendly, I've always had good service with Gateway Cosmetics and other vendors that specialize in Black movie sales.

Brown Sugar streaming is great for the binge watcher with no space for a bunch of discs or watches in the peak hours.

As far as the experience itself was Saturday and its me with the Chromebook.  I look up a movie from 1968 with Max Julien that I think I saw but not 100% sure.  It takes a moment to load, so I go get snacks (3-5 mins).  Upon return, I recognize the opening theme but sit for the first 5 minutes.  Not even into opening scene, there's buffering.  Okay, things take time and this movie is as old as I am so let's refresh.

Ten minutes in, there's no semblance of a plot and the thing is buffering when I remember that I never saw Charleston Blue.  It's not in Brown Sugar's inventory so off to YouTube I go where I get a clean picture with few interruptions and it costs...ZERO.  Not condoning bootlegging but if someone knows of a standing store in the L.A. where legit blaxploitation movies are sold, hit me up!

Anyway, I do have a suggestion.  Why not add the indie flicks that Bounce used to air before they got 90-early 2000s sitcom fever.  Seriously, I love Half and Half too but remember the show only aired for three seasons and was definitely affected by the writer's strike near the end.  Fine @ss Lamman Rucker made those episodes watchable before its unfortunate demise.

Okay, digressing here.  I'm really digging indie movie like the ones Aspire shows in the afternoon but my favorite from the early days of Bounce are Drop Squad, The Stick Up Kids, and the one where a pre-nose job Kerri Washington was a window dresser/booster.  Sorry (hangs head but snickering).  

So Bounce, what's up?  Can we get something different since you don't quite have 100 movies in your catalog (more like 75 as of Feb 2017)?  About a third of those are shown on network and basic cable from time to time, so maybe faster load times.  I've had a similar experience with Google so I'm not knocking your efforts, just suggesting a little fine tuning for the long run.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Best of Al Jarreau (RIP)

Mr. Jarreau was a music icon and a 50-year veteran who has won many Grammys.  He was in the middle of touring when he was recently hospitalized for exhaustion, his songs have become a staple in American culture.  Read more at Yahoo.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Black New Wave for Throwback Thurs. (Late)

Yeah, sorry so slow.  I still haven't found a copy of the Right On mag featuring 1980s new wavers of color.  But, I have a good memory and other resources so here we go.

Most people remember The Bus Boys from that Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, "The Boys are Back in Town".  Long before a really funny Mr. Murphy decided to use the Gardena,CA natives (go South Bay!), they made a few other hits that were memorable - just too much for pop radio at the time.

To catch up with these guys, check out their website.  There's a nice documentary that talks about the black L.A. experience that I will probably share in a future post.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Different Kind of Throwback for Thursday

Last year, I was doing the theme thing for my weekly music video post.  Some of you responded accordingly and it helped me keep on track.  There was mention of black rock artists and I thought this would be something special.

Still a work in progress but I was able to find a few times that we were allowed to express ourselves differently - no 3-piece suits or gowns, choreographed dance moves and babymaking music not allowed.

I bring you Nappy Cherry...

I was in the 7th grade when I first heard about this band.  It was in an issue of Right On magazine with a cover that showed Prince in his Dirty Mind phase and the entire issue gave props to brothers and sisters doing it differently.

Unfortunately, this classic cover is hard to find online more than 35 years later.  Even worse, my collection got jacked from my storage bin and has yet to be recovered since I moved nearly 20 years ago.  But I'll give a recap.

Prince, Nappy Cherry, the Busboys, and I wanna say Fishbone, were featured and not long after, some traditional R&B acts began to incorporate the high-pitch synthesizers, fast drum beats, and quirky lyrics into their albums.  Though some songs left a lot to be desired (like She's Only 17) and even marked the end of some acts like Ozone.

However, being different also worked for Cameo.  Though known to serious oldheads for babymaking music (Sparkle, Why Have I Lost You), they decided to switch gears (and gradually losing members, remember when there used to be like 10 dudes on the album cover?) to something more fun that incorporated the essence of R&B music.  This is my favorite track from that period.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Black Folk's Career Suicide

Video courtesy of Keyboard Gangsta
I decided to switch some things up for this month so the music is coming tomorrow.

Now, I never wanted to start a gossip site or use this as a platform to put people down but is the world going crazy?  I'm not talking about the Kardashians or barely literate athletes or rappers showing out before the camera.  What I'm referring to is people killing their careers over BS.

Last year, it was Nate Parker.  I didn't see Birth of a Nation though I heard it was very well-acted and the cinematic visuals went above and beyond.  However, I wasn't feeding into the hype as to whether I should support his work as a member of the black community.  It wasn't even like it was a Nat Turner documentary, so I chose to pass.  Just like he chose to display zero remorse for his victim on camera and deny Oprah an interview (which may have at least piqued more interest).

Kanye's been on a downward spiral for some time and I can only pray for a speedy recovery.  Got the feeling there's a real serious situation here but I won't speculate.  Just please stop supporting the Orange Monster, if you thought George W. didn't like us, then you're in for a helluva shock.

Which brings me to Chrisette Michele...a singer who has struggled for years to get the audience her voice deserves.  Well, she recently got an audience and a little extra change, in exchange for her dignity and lack of respect for what our ancestors fought against.  And there's nothing wrong with needing money (especially if you don't fit the Top 40 mold...musically or visually).  My issue is that the community has to stand strong because white isn't's people with common sense and a heart.

The last entry has jokes that write themselves.  First, Stacey Dash was never a great actress.  Before the BET awards scandal last year, she made her money making mostly straight-to-DVD movies with a weak plot.  Let me go on record by saying that if I had to play the Game's love interest in order to pay my bills, I'd call it a career (because Clueless was a loooong time ago).  Not that I'm special to look at but to be in hustle mode for decades...only to bite the hand that fed insane.  

Before FOX News came along, BET paid this hoe's bills pretty much.  Then she goes off on Jesse Williams after dissing not just Black awards show but the idea behind the month of February.  Her public support of anything against the Black community seemed to be getting worse before it got better (unfortunately, that strategy only works for Ann Coulter).  Then suddenly, the Orange Monster wins, and she's out of a job she wouldn't qualify for anywhere else, FOX News used her because she's vulnerable.

Didn't forget about Steve Harvey....he's too easy.